Employment services

At UnionLine, we are able to offer advice and legal support on all aspects of employment law and litigation for members. Our experienced team of legal advisors and employment lawyers can offer CWU members the benefit of their expertise when it comes to their rights at work.

We can provide advice on a range of employment matters through our dedicated advice line – 0300 333 0303.

Each case will be judged on its merits and where appropriate representation will be provided by UnionLine or a CWU appointed employment specialist. Prior to submitting an ET1 application members must first comply with the ACAS Early Conciliation procedures via the Acas Helpline 0300 123 1100 or http://www.acas.org.uk/index.aspx?articleid=4028

Types of Claims

Unfair dismissal

Although there are exceptions, members generally need two years’ continuous employment to bring a claim for unfair dismissal.

If after two years a member is dismissed by their employer, the dismissal must be based on one of five potentially fair reasons to dismiss:

  1. misconduct
  2. capability
  3. redundancy
  4. statutory duty or restriction
  5. some other substantial reason

Please also note that claims for unfair dismissal must be brought within three months of the effective date of termination. Members must be aware the effective date of termination should NOT be confused with any subsequent date of appeal or outcome.

Discrimination

Any discrimination claim must be based on one of the following nine protected characteristics:

  1. Age
  2. Disability
  3. Gender reassignment
  4. Marriage and civil partnership
  5. Pregnancy and maternity
  6. Race
  7. Religion or belief
  8. Sex
  9. Sexual orientation

UnionLine’s legal advisors can offer members advice and support if they believe they have suffered discrimination at work.

Please also note that claims for discrimination in the Employment Tribunal must be brought within three months of the alleged discriminatory act.

Redundancy

Our employment team is on hand to offer support and advice if a member has been made redundant. CWU members may be able to bring a claim in the Employment Tribunal through UnionLine, and our legal advisors will assess the merits of a potential claim.

Claims for unfair dismissal and a contractual redundancy payment must be brought in the Employment Tribunal within three months of an effective date of termination. Claims for a statutory redundancy payment must be brought within six months of an effective date of termination.

Settlement Agreement

The UnionLine settlement agreements team are experts in providing legal advice to CWU members regarding settlements between them and their employers. At UnionLine we’re able draw up settlement agreements (formerly known as a Compromise Agreement) which are a legally binding agreement between you and your employer. This usually provides for a severance payment by the employer in return for your agreement not to pursue any claims in a Tribunal or a Court.

Whistleblowing

If a CWU member has been dismissed or suffered a detriment after exposing wrongdoing in the workplace, then they may be able to bring a claim under the Public Interest Disclosure Act, more commonly known as the Whistleblowing Act. The act provides a framework in which individuals must make disclosures through a prescribed procedure. Additionally, in order to qualify for protection, the subject matter of the disclosure must fall within certain categories.

Working time

The Working Time Regulations 1998 is an important piece of legislation to protect the health and safety of workers.

The laws provide the following key rights:

  • A 48-hour limit on average weekly working time
  • Paid annual leave
  • Rest breaks
  • Daily rest
  • Weekly rest

There are some exceptions and excluded categories of workers, UnionLine can check if a member has any concerns or queries and we will be happy to help.

UnionLine is a trading name of Trade Union Legal LLP. UnionLine is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority under number 608309